The husband of a Filipina woman killed in a seemingly random attack in New Zealand said Thursday that his family was "lost in darkness" after her death.
Blessie Gotingco, a 56-year-old mother-of-three, disappeared on Saturday night on her way home from work in central Auckland.
Her body was discovered in a cemetery not far from her home two days later and police on Wednesday charged a 27-year-old man with murder. The cause of death has not been revealed.
The killing has shocked New Zealand, where such attacks are relatively rare, and Gotingco's husband Antonio said he had been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from across the small South Pacific nation.
He said he had known his wife of 30 years since they attended primary school in Cebu City, describing her as his best friend.
"She is the light of our home and without her we will be lost in darkness," he said in a statement released by New Zealand Police.
"Right now we are just trying to pretend that everything is OK but deep inside we are broken hearted. We have been robbed, she is gone too soon."
The accused man, who has been granted interim name suppression, was remanded in custody at an Auckland court on Wednesday to reappear on June 18.